Boy, have we ever been on a journey. We have loved each other, hated each other, fought with each other and made peace with each other. It’s been a long, rocky road. I’ve let other people tell me that I wasn’t good enough, or fast enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough…but you know what? I AM! I am worthwhile and deserving and funny and smart and beautiful; whether I weigh 325 or 125, I’m me. My arms are flabby, but they can lift over 100 pounds. My thighs may jiggle, but they can run, and swim and climb mountains. I’m perfectly imperfect. I’ve looked for validation everywhere. From my parents (never lived up to those standards…was never just like her), from my friends, from colleagues, and strangers, and handsome and toxic men. Every time I was pushed away and rejected, I was pushed closer to myself. I was pushed closer to you. We were pushed closer together. We’ve battled depression, suicidal thoughts, despair and we’ve overcome. We lost and gained hundreds of pounds. The latest adventure includes a loss of nearly 100…this time for good. I can tell. I am connected and centered in myself, in my imperfect body. Though you’re stretched and flabby, you’re also STRONG, POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE. You are defined only by the thoughts I perpetuate in my mind. You are as wonderful or as awful as I choose to believe. You are as capable as I believe. You can move mountains, or you can refuse to rise. The choice is ours. I’m filled with hopes and dreams and goals and plans. We’re going to get older and weaker someday, we’re going to get wrinkled, but it doesn’t matter. I will still be me. You will be mine. I will still love you, as you are, no exceptions, because you are phenomenal.